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What's Cooking (Take Three!)

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:26 pm

Paul, I have a trip to an Asian store on my to-do list, will buy some and try out that microwave method.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:41 pm

On the stove: an Italian Sauce Debris made from the four remaining sausages of a pkg of eight that we had for breakfast and didn't like, the last two stalks of celery in the house, some dried porcinis about ten years old that seriously needed to go, a carton of fading cherry tomatoes, a jar of tomatoes I canned myself, the last third of a bottle of Washington Grenache rose, plus chopped onion, garlic, fennel seed, oregano and basil.

For buccatini.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:40 am

Jenise wrote:On the stove: an Italian Sauce Debris made from the four remaining sausages of a pkg of eight that we had for breakfast and didn't like, the last two stalks of celery in the house, some dried porcinis about ten years old that seriously needed to go, a carton of fading cherry tomatoes, a jar of tomatoes I canned myself, the last third of a bottle of Washington Grenache rose, plus chopped onion, garlic, fennel seed, oregano and basil.

For buccatini.

Sauce Flotsam, more like. :lol:
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:44 am

Jenise wrote:And Jeff: love your Valentines Menu. Do you have a recipe for that lobster wellington?

I will post. It is one of mine so there's a lot of "this or that" in it. I think most recipes are naturally flexible so I record ideas as they come to me.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:37 pm

No problem, just describe your methodology to me. I can work out the deets. It's just that off-hand I can't quite imagine getting a lobster tail to fit in a crust, so that's
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:14 am

Jeff Grossman wrote:
Jenise wrote:On the stove: an Italian Sauce Debris made from the four remaining sausages of a pkg of eight that we had for breakfast and didn't like, the last two stalks of celery in the house, some dried porcinis about ten years old that seriously needed to go, a carton of fading cherry tomatoes, a jar of tomatoes I canned myself, the last third of a bottle of Washington Grenache rose, plus chopped onion, garlic, fennel seed, oregano and basil.

For buccatini.

Sauce Flotsam, more like. :lol:


That's the only kind of pasta sauce I know how to make.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:20 am

Last night, I made pan fried petrale sole with lemon butter caper sauce. Served the Utica greens on the side. Our friend Pat brought a very hearty borscht from the great Russian cookbook "Please to the Table", that included big chunks of tender beef in with the beets and such. Because the soup was so substantial, there was no need for anything starchy to go with the fish and greens. My wife whipped up a quick mocha mousse for dessert.

We ended up drinking a 2010 Sagrantino di Montefalco from Scacciadiavoli with the meal. This was NOT the wine I meant to serve but there was a failure to communicate on my part. I thought I had left a bottle of Dolcetto in the breakfast nook, but I had actually put it in the dining room. When my wife asked me what to open, I told her to grab the one in the nook. The Sagrantino happened to be there, having not yet made it down to the basement. Fortunately, this one was not enamel-stripping-tannic and turned out to be quite a delicious wine (albeit not a great match with sole).
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:34 am

Mike Filigenzi wrote:We ended up drinking a 2010 Sagrantino di Montefalco from Scacciadiavoli with the meal. This was NOT the wine I meant to serve...

Ouch!

Reminds me of the worst wine pairing I ever tasted: young Rosso di Montalcino and calamari fritti. The squid brought out every tinny, tannic, grippy thing in the wine. Bleh.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:10 am

Jeff Grossman wrote:
Mike Filigenzi wrote:We ended up drinking a 2010 Sagrantino di Montefalco from Scacciadiavoli with the meal. This was NOT the wine I meant to serve...

Ouch!

Reminds me of the worst wine pairing I ever tasted: young Rosso di Montalcino and calamari fritti. The squid brought out every tinny, tannic, grippy thing in the wine. Bleh.


It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be when I realized what happened. The Sagrantino went straight into a decanter for short period and was.....not as tannic as I thought it would be. Definitely not a great pairing, though.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:51 pm

I just made a big batch of tomatillo/cilantro/lime salsa. It also contains two roasted fresh pasilla chiles and several slices of white onion, but we can't mention those because the intended recipient won't eat green bell peppers or onions in any way, shape or form and has to be fooled into eating foods that include things he thinks he dislikes. So we name it after two things he likes and one thing he doesn't understand. :)

So begins my day. I'm doing all the food for a friend's retirement party on Saturday. Both halves of the couple retired a month ago, and both are picky eaters who don't cook. Neither will eat tomatoes or onions. She has an allergy to spicy food that causes serious pain in her right ear. This makes no sense but she can't be talked down from there. He's convinced he doesn't like any vegetable except corn and potatoes. He likes salad but only likes "regular lettuce". He likes raw mushrooms but not cooked. He likes olives but she doesn't. She loves avocadoes but he won't touch them. They both hate liver, so no pates. Oddly they both love artichokes. She likes beans okay but doesn't like black beans--a shoot-the-messenger kind of problem. Had some once she didn't like and blames the ingredient, not the cook/seasoning. He only eats beans if they're part of a bowl of chili. Basically, they only agree on about six things, and the lists of things each doesn't like is longer than the list of things they like.

Got the picture? How do you develop a party menu that avoids all those issues? Not easy. It's going to be a weird menu.

Today I'm making a couple hundred pork and shrimp gyoza type dumplings for the party, and I'll make enough for Bob and I to have them for dinner.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:53 pm

Does the couple have an ethnic background we can plunder for foods?

Clearly, smorgasbord style is the way to go: make a bunch of things and let each fill his/her plate to suit.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:16 am

Jeff Grossman wrote:Does the couple have an ethnic background we can plunder for foods?

Clearly, smorgasbord style is the way to go: make a bunch of things and let each fill his/her plate to suit.


He's from the American midwest, she's Jewish-Canadian. Nothing in common except on their first date, both ordered burgers "hold the tomato and onion". Love at first bite. :) Other guests include an observant Jew who's married to a vegan.

And there isn't much room for a buffet. Small dining room table that seats 4, that's it. So for that table I'm doing a gardineria of marinated vegetables, chips and two salsas, a cheese platter, and she's buying the ready-to-eat marinated shrimp at Costco (that are very good). Will also stock it with other things periodically, like Vietnamese spring rolls with a rare roast beef and lettuce filling drizzled with a shallot vinaigrette and little crostini topped with ricotta cheese and garlicky-lemony chopped grilled artichokes. For fun snacks, bowls of that cheese and caramel popcorn will be on the small tables. About every 30 minutes out will come a hot passed 'small plate' item. One will be the dumplings, another will be small crusty hot sourdough French dip sandwiches, and another will be little cups with mashed potatoes in the bottom, a turkey meatball, champagne gravy and a little spoonful of peas--and a spoon to eat that with. No dessert (as I've told my friend, roll out a dessert and people automatically think they're supposed to leave immediately afterward--only serve one if that's the message you want to send.) We'll just put bowls of chocolates around the room later in the evening for the sweet tooth people.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:30 am

OMG Jenise, if anyone can pull that off, wow, and I think you will.
However somebody, perhaps the guest himself, will need to outsource a kosher meal for the observant Jew.
Good luck!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:32 am

Actually, that's a good menu, Jenise - lots of variety! I especially like the use of dumplings and mash-in-a-cup: plain foods with a little twist.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:11 pm

Barb Downunder wrote:OMG Jenise, if anyone can pull that off, wow, and I think you will.
However somebody, perhaps the guest himself, will need to outsource a kosher meal for the observant Jew.
Good luck!


Having great ideas for food is easy. Finding foods the host couple will both like is harder, and then the list narrows itself further when weighed in perspective for the ability to balance the logistics of prep and storage HERE for the food that's going to be served THERE. A lot of otherwise good ideas had to be shelved because they simply take up too much real estate or require too much last-minute work--cuz I still have a life!

Like the French dips? I bought and cooked eight pounds of eye of round two weeks ago in a pan large enough to boil a cannibal in. Then chilled the meat and put the huge pan of broth outside on the porch to let mother nature chill off the fat cap. It's really cold here right now. Next day I brought the broth in, removed the fat, clarified it, reduced it, seasoned it--and now I have several quarts of a perfect jus for bun dipping (guests don't get the dipping sauce, the buns are already 'dipped'--no mess!). Day after that I sliced all the meat (I have a meat slicer), covered it with the jus, and popped that into the freezer. The biggest task of assembling them on the day of the party will be driving 16 miles to pick up the buns which are being custom baked for me. And Bob, who doesn't cook, can do that. I'll assemble them all in the afternoon, then just bake them off at their house at serving time. They come out crispy on the outside and velvet soft in the middle. It's a great party food.

The observant Jew is an interesting mix. His faith is huge and indisputable, but he seems to pick and choose what works for him. He won't eat pork or shrimp, but he will go to a party on Friday night. At one point I understand he did try to have two sets of plates for keeping meat and dairy separate but gave that up as too hard--his wife isn't Jewish, in fact she's the vegan in the mix. I think he'll be okay with the turkey meatball on mashed potatoes, and if he's not I'll give him the meatballs separate.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:13 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:Actually, that's a good menu, Jenise - lots of variety! I especially like the use of dumplings and mash-in-a-cup: plain foods with a little twist.


PRECISELY. Can't be too 'out there', but it allows me to show creativity. My friend's invitation actually said on it (all food by Chef Jenise Stone!). I told her, you realize you just killed my ability to just put out bowls of potato chips.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:18 pm

Thai time the last couple of days: pad prik gai bai krapow (stir-fried minced chicken with bird's eye chiles and holy basil) and kwaytiow sen yai phat phrik sod kap see-eu wan (Mahogany fire noodles).

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:40 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:krapow

Always makes me think of Batman. :wink:
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:12 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:
Paul Winalski wrote:krapow

Always makes me think of Batman. :wink:


And in the same sentence with holy basil!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:55 am

Jenise wrote:
Jeff Grossman wrote:
Paul Winalski wrote:krapow

Always makes me think of Batman. :wink:


And in the same sentence with holy basil!


:lol:
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:14 pm

"Holy basil, Batman!". Followed by PAD! PRIK! BAI! KRAPOW! I love it.

Holy basil, Ocimium sanctum or O. tenuiflorum, "krapow" in Thai, is a different species from common basil (O. basilicum). Thai basil, "horapha", is a variety of common basil. The "holy" part is because O. sanctum is considered by Hindus to be sacred to Vishnu and his avatars such as Krishna. It's very hard to find fresh krapow in markets because the leaves wilt and turn brown very quickly once the plant is harvested. Unless a restaurant is growing its own plants, almost certainly the "bai krapow" dishes are being made with horapha instead. That's what I do, but I add some dried bai krapow to provide a bit of the distinctive holy basil aromatic profile. Not as good as fresh bai krapow, but the best one can do without an herb garden.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:14 pm

Jenise wrote:Paul, I have a trip to an Asian store on my to-do list, will buy some and try out that microwave method.


Any reports on microwaving pappadums, Jenise?

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:20 pm

Tonight, the wine group's coming over and I'm going to do a French Countryish array of things to slather on crusty breads: a Miraton (thinly sliced beef, onions, tomatoes and capers baked into a hot sludge over two hours), grilled artichoke tapenade, ricotta cheese with either thinly sliced tomatoes or eggplant I'll decide which when I see what the store has for tomatoes, a gardineria of marinated vegetables, a hot pot of garlicky baby limas with wilted escarole (Utica greens) and a tray of cheeses (Cachel Blue, Humboldt Fog and whatever a guest brings). This is convivial food that can sit on the table all night without demanding that I be more hostess than participant.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:35 pm

Hamburgers tonight!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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